The UCSB women’s volleyball team hit the road this weekend and continued its second-half turnaround, sweeping Pacific in three games to tally its sixth win in the last seven matches.
The Gauchos (13-8 overall, 5-3 in the Big West) powered through the Tigers (6-14 overall, 3-5 Big West) in Stockton, winning 30-24, 30-25 and 30-22.
Early on in the first set, UCSB jumped on the board, before Pacific came back to tie the score at nine. Going back and forth, the Tigers were ahead for the last time in the match, topping the Gauchos at 15-13. From then on, UCSB went on an 8-0 run behind two of senior outside hitter Jamie Garbisch’s kills, en route to a 30-24 victory.
In the second game, freshman setter Stephanie Brandt notched two back-to-back service aces, to give Santa Barbara an early lead that it never relinquished. Pacific tried to make a mid-set run to catch up during a 5-0 run, but UCSB would not give the Tigers anymore breathing room.
Game three only furthered the Gauchos’ dominant cause, as UCSB jumped on the board first and kept the lead for the rest of the night to secure the sweep.
Sophomore outside hitter Lauren McLaughlin and Garbisch set UCSB’s pace, leading the attack for the night with 11 kills each. The duo was only outdone by Pacific outside hitter Alexa Anderson, who had the only double-double with 13 kills and 17 digs. Garbisch now leads the team in overall put-aways with 287, averaging 3.83 per game.
Five of the nine women who started for UCSB connected with a .300 hitting clip or better, while the team collectively went .405, .297 and .351 in sets one, two and three, respectively. On the other side of the net, Santa Barbara held Pacific’s hitting percentages down below .300 the entire night. In the third and final set, the Tigers could only scrape together a meager .136 attack, as only three of their players connected with a .300 hitting percentage or better.
For the Gaucho offense, second to McLaughlin and Garbisch was junior middle blocker Brett Quirarte, who tallied nine kills in 15 attempts, for a UCSB second-best .600 clip on the night. She came in behind Brandt, who knocked in a stellar .800 hitting percentage and connected with four of five attempts.
Santa Barbara gave itself a slight push in the all-time record against Pacific, but still trails the Tigers 44-22 in the two teams’ history playing against each other.
UCSB returns home this weekend for a two-game homestand, hosting UC Irvine on Friday and Long Beach State Sunday at 7 p.m.
– Monique Moyal